The notion that one would need to care about privacy may seem strange to some of us. After all, can you even touch and feel it? So why would there need to be any concern?
Life seems to be too short to read the fine print. Millions of us put our trust in companies that we barely know in the hopes that they will do the right thing by us. We will check and agree to a company’s terms and conditions without understanding what they mean. The desire to get that service for ‘free’ or order that thing will override any concerns and is much stronger than reviewing any terms and conditions.
So, how is this related to a dry and technical thing like privacy?
To understand that, we need to look a little bit more closely at our life in the context of the Internet.
Our online self is the collection of data and behaviors we generate over a spectrum of interactions. It is our health status, our shopping behavior, our pictures, our social posts, what we have surfed on the internet, including reading this blog post, etc. In essence, we are creating a digital copy of ourselves online. This digital self’s accuracy has become unprecedented in history.
Privacy, then, would be who gets to decide what happens to this “online person”.
The lack or loss of privacy has real life implication for all of us. For example, the 2017 Equifax hack that exposed close to half of the US population’s data to hackers injured the financial future of many and has yet to be predicted ramifications for the remainder of us. Similarly, on a daily basis, emails are sent to our friends pretending to be us, injuring them in unpredictable ways.
If we can readily agree that the real you should not be abused or profited from without fair compensation and consent, why would we not extend the same protection to our online selves? You would not want your online self to be taken to dark corners and misused any more than you would want your real self to be subjected to such treatment.
We expect that companies will respect our online self as much as they would our real person and treat it with the care and handling we deserve. This, in many cases, is not something we can take for granted.
XcooBee is a change in view of what companies can and should do for you. Our primary mission is give the power of privacy back to users. The short version of this is:
People Powered Privacy
We believe that:
- Companies should not sell your privacy or exchange your data without your consent.
- Companies should put the security of their users in front and center of their actions.
- Companies should make sure that your right to be forgotten is respected.
Without the active involvement of users, change is unlikely. Without good tools for users to take charge of their privacy and security it will be difficult to bring about this change and be active. In short, users are excluded because they cannot participate or represent their needs significantly in data-exchanges. A catch-22 it might seem.
At XcooBee we want to change that.
Our goal is to deliver tools, services, and techniques to allow individuals to control the exchange, distribution and management of their own information.
The XcooBee network and services is where we start.